09 March 2014
I bought my 03-reg 2.2 HDi van in April 2007 with 29k on the clock. It had been used as a mobile workshop by someone who refurbished alloy wheels. Lots of space and headroom inside; enough to turn it into a mobile home in fact. I drove it to Malta (through France, Switzerland and Italy) in 2007 heavily-loaded with all my worldly goods after some 18 years in UK. One of my sons relocated to Athens soon after I arrived and I loaded up all his household goods including his white goods and ferried to Pozzallo from where I drove to Brindisi (700 miles) in 12 hours. Ferried to Patras over-night and drove to Athens. Despite all the short journeys in Malta, I average 38MPG here as long as my tyres are kept at the recommended pressure of 65PSI; but drop that to 40PSI and my MPG drops to 30. It has now done 57k miles and all I’ve spent on it is one €250-service (including fully-synthetic oil) and a change of front brake pads and disks. Recently, I changed the original battery. It looked like it was the one from the factory. Oil and coolant have never needs topping up (I think I added 1-ltr of oil in all this time). Malta is reputed to have dirty diesel but this van emits no smoke and passes its emission tests without problems when it is VRT’d (MOT) it every year. I would say that is reliable so I don’t understand how so many people have given a thumbs-down to what I feel is a good work-horse that does not hang about. It is comfortable, feels robust and the cabin is quiet. Unfortunately it doesn’t have air conditioning. I would prefer it over any Transit, which I found to be noisy and lazy bone-shakers. My only problem is that the electric windows have stopped working and I don’t have the owner’s handbook so I can be sure I’ve located all the fuses and relays. I’ll try and trace the fault and hope it is something silly like a relay or a fuse, but there are so many of them and without the book, I can’t be sure that I’ve found and checked all of them. My Citroen Relay gets five stars from me.
Probably tempting fate but mine has been bloody amazing apart from the speedo this started to quit at around 100k; van had 80k+ on it when I got it. I do less than 10k a year but what a load it carries, not the most together thing you will ever drive but with close to a ton of weight with on board Prochem Performer (1200cc/48 hp Nissan petrol motor) carpet cleaning machine including the fresh water tank and waste tank plus a load of other stuff I’m surprised it moves sometimes. It had one owner before, chippy up and down motorway serviced in Edinburgh and London (shopfitters?) and was a Renault lease van. I got the service record which was solid except no mention of cambelt and they must have put a sh*t load of miles on it very quickly as I bought it in 06 at auction at BCABlackbushe; pig in a poke you can start them but not drive them, funny that! Had to fit new clutch after a year but that was it really the only other real problem gear change linkages seized up, I thought it was the gearbox! Oh and handbrake needed some maintenance. Just had cambelt done for peace of mind. Bloody good utility vehicle and was cheap to buy at 4k, doesn’t owe me much. I get impression new ones are going to be less relaible but just an impression from this forum. Excellent to drive on motorway esp when empty!! lol
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